LGA backs 16 digital social care projects

Local authorities receive up to £50,000 each from Local Government Association to support development of new approaches to supporting care

The Local Government Association (LGA) has awarded funds to 16 councils to develop projects using digital technology to improve social care.

While not stating how much will go to each project, the LGA said they will receive up to £50,000 each as part of the Local Investment Programme funded by NHS Digital.

The move reflects the increased urgency around developing new solutions for social care to reduce the burden on both local authorities and the NHS.

Izzi Seccombe headshotCouncillor Izzi Seccombe (pictured), chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Technology can never be a replacement for care, but it can play a really effective role in helping people to live at home for longer, as well as support professionals and commissioners to target services where they have the greatest impact.

“Many councils are already harnessing the powers of digital technology to transform social care services and support integration with health partners.

“The LGA is pleased to support this investment programme, which can improve both the care provided and most important of all, people’s experience of care.”

Five themes

The funds have been awarded to projects that fit within one of five themes: sharing information and integrating services; enabling people to interact with care services through digital channels; promoting independence and wellbeing through the use of digital services and technology; integrating commissioning through the improved use of information and analysis; and enabling care professionals to work from any base at any time.

Among the councils receiving backing are:

  • London Borough of Harrow, which is working with NHS Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group to extend their My Community ePurse system in purchasing social care and equipment from personal budgets.
  • Hampshire Council, trialing the use of Amazon Echo to provide information and TV alerts to 50 adult social care users.
  • Kent County Council, developing a tool to assess the effectiveness of its voluntary sector Care Navigation approach, including the development of an app to record intelligence on outcomes.
  • Plymouth City Council, for a project to enable supported living providers to access care management and data collection systems. This will ensure that activity and cost information can be recorded through mobile devices.

The Local Investment Programme is funded by NHS Digital as part of the social care programme of the Paperless 2020 Portfolio, and covers the integration of health and social care, and the social care transformation and efficiency.

Image from Warwickshire County Council, Open Government Licence v3.0